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Rotating tyres is vital to achieving even tread wear and long tread life. Rotation is necessary because of the uneven wear characteristics of each wheel position on the vehicle. A good example is Front Wheel Drive vehicles which places braking, steering and driving forces on the front axle tyres. Rear axle tyres only receive braking forces resulting in a much faster wear rate for the front axle tyres. Tyre rotation for these vehicles therefore becomes very important for optimum tyre life.
Rotating Tyres – When?
Many manufacturers recommend rotating tyres at least every 10,000km, or more frequently if uneven wear patterns are evident. Depending on the wear patterns, attention to wheel alignment, correct tyre pressures or revising driving style may also be required.
Rotating Tyres – Why?
Rotating tyres equalizes these natural wear patterns by changing the positions of your tyres. By rotating your tyres regularly, you’ll ensure yourself a smoother and safer ride. And more importantly you’ll save money in the long run by extending the life of your tyres.
Rotating Tyres - How?
Time needed: 20 minutes.
- Engage parking brake. Just for your safety.
- Loosen the lug nuts on all your wheels. You don’t want to take them completely off yet. Loosening them now will make unscrewing them when the car is elevated much easier.
- Lift up one wheel with car jack and place jack stand underneath it. If you just have one or two jack stands (or cinder blocks) you’ll need to do a bit of mental work before you start jacking so you know how you’re going to proceed with lowering and raising your car. Because you have fewer stands, you’ll also spend more time lowering and raising your car in order to switch them out. Despite the extra effort, you still won’t spend much more than 20 minutes on the job. I’ve seen some people place their car on all four jack stands. It’s not exactly the safest thing to do, but it will definitely help you get the job done faster because you don’t have to switch out jack stands.
- Remove the tyres and rotate them according to the appropriate pattern for your type of tyres. When you place a tyre back onto the wheel mount, screw the lug nuts on by hand as much as you can.
- Lower the car from the jack stands. Take the lug wrench and tighten the nuts even more. It’s best to work the lug nuts diagonally from one to another. It looks like a star pattern. This ensures even tightening. Tightening the lug nuts unevenly can warp the brake rotor.
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